Melissa is experienced litigation counsel with a widely recognized expertise in civil and regulatory securities cases and complex commercial litigation matters. Melissa is recognized by Lexpert as one of the Top 500 Lawyers in Canada and has been featured in the Lexpert Special Edition on Canada’s Leading Litigation Lawyers. She has also been recognized as a leader in the field of securities litigation by Chambers Canada. Melissa was recently recognized as both a Litigation Star and one of the 2017 & 2018 Top 25 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Canada. In addition to being ranked for many years as a leading securities and corporate commercial litigation lawyer by Best Lawyers in Canada, Melissa was named the 2018 Lawyer of the Year for Securities Law in the Toronto area.
Melissa worked as a Senior Prosecutor in the Enforcement Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) from 2004-2008. She was seconded from that position for a one year term to serve as Acting Chief Enforcement Counsel and Manager of Investigations at the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). From her time as a regulator, Melissa gained an in-depth understanding of the substantive legal and policy issues at play in securities litigation matters.
Melissa acts on a wide range of securities regulatory matters before the OSC, IIROC and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada, both on the prosecution and defence side. Melissa routinely represents clients in compliance and registrant regulation matters and enforcement investigations, settlements and contested proceedings involving such issues as insider trading, disclosure violations and market manipulation.
Melissa maintains an active complex commercial litigation practice and has appeared before all levels of Court in Ontario. Melissa advises investors, registrants, issuers, officers, directors, underwriters and private and public corporations on a variety of corporate and securities matters, including (defense-side) securities class action proceedings, corporate and shareholder disputes, oppression remedy matters, proxy battles, corporate governance matters, investment loss claims, breach of contract and professional negligence matters.
Prior to joining Crawley MacKewn Brush LLP, Melissa was a partner at two large national law firms.
Speaker, “Client Complaints and Complaint Resolution”, PCMA Compliance Network Meeting, June 19, 2018
Speaker, “Institutional Bias”, Disciplinary Resources Group, CPA Organizations in Canada, June 8, 2018
Faculty, 16th Annual Spring Symposium: The Advocates Matters, The Advocates’ Society, April 27, 2017
Panellist, “Private Lending and the Private Markets — Issues and Challenges for MICs and MIEs”, 2016 PCMA Conference, May 9, 2016
Speaker, “A Perspective From Past Regulators Who Have Retired Their Jerseys”, Stickhandling Compliance Challenges, NSCP 2016 Canadian Conference, April 4, 2016
Panellist, “When Compliance Reviews Don’t Go As Planned”, Capital Raising and Effective Regulation — Private Capital Markets and Canada’s Economic Development, 2015 PCMA Conference, May 19, 2015
Speaker, “Effective Litigation, Getting Things Done”, The Law Society of Upper Canada, Continuing Professional Development, April 4, 2014
Co-chair of the OSC’s Litigation Assistance Program
Member of the OSC’s Securities Proceedings Advisory Committee
Board Member of the Private Capital Markets Association of Canada
Member of The Advocates’ Society
Called to the Bar - 1997
LL.B., University of Western Ontario - 1995